3 Major Benefits of Having a CMMC Consultant
Never expect the cybercrime trends to go downhill any moment soon. A study shows that any business, consumer, or device will fall victim to these attacks every two seconds by 2031. At this rate, it is predicted that the global damages will skyrocket to $265 billion in the same year.
In case you are wondering how the US government will address this alarming prediction, they have established Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). This is carried out to prevent the theft and loss of unclassified but controlled information as well as intellectual property. It is a framework that aims to assess and strengthen the cybersecurity posture of businesses.
However, getting certified is not that easy, which is why a CMMC Registered Provider Organization (CMMC RPO) or a CMMC consultant has become a need. Basically, they are subject matter experts that will help you through the certification process. But what exactly do they bring to the table?
Benefits of Having a CMMC Consultant
Getting a CMMC expert’s help does not exempt you from working hands-on with the certification—but it will surely make the entire accreditation procedure a breeze. Your CMMC RPO partner can:
Simplify the CMMC process– let us admit it: the whole CMMC concept can be confusing. And it gets more confusing once you progress to higher security levels since you encounter more complex controls and procedures. A CMMC consultant comes in to simplify stuff, not to bypass anything nor go under the table, but to evaluate your current cybersecurity posture, educate you along the way, and assist you with the necessary preparations and documentation. One can be a supplementary member of your existing IT team.
Help you determine where you need to be– after a comprehensive assessment of your cybersecurity posture, your CMMC expert will help you map out the critical areas for improvement and help in implementing a Plan of Action and Milestones POAM to remediate deficiencies. On top of these, they can provide cost-efficient ways to get certified without compromising the quality of cybersecurity you are aiming for. Their recommendations can span from fundamental changes to high-level troubleshooting, such as:
- Establishing more robust access controls
- Deployment of new technical configurations
- Data retention issue troubleshooting
- Data migration from one storage to another
- Servers and system updates
- User training
Assist you for long-term compliance– cyber threats are here to stay, which is why standards and protocols should evolve with them. This means that CMMC compliance does not just stop at the certification but is a continuous, long-term process that everybody should adapt to. With a CMMC consulting service, you are on top of these updates and changes. And as your partnership continues, your CMMC consultant assures you to:
- Help you maintain your current CMMC level and help you progress to the higher ones.
- Assist you in implementing scalable technologies as a buffer in case the compliance terms change through the years.
- Enrich your IT team’s cybersecurity knowledge and help make protocol adjustments a breeze.
- Be your resident cybersecurity subject matter expert to take the lead in recalibrating standards as compliance requirements evolve.
What to Expect on Your CMMC Journey?
With what is at stake and the crucial requirements for this certification, it is just right to get professional help from these CMMC RPOs. While there is no sure way of passing, it is still best to be guided by subject matter experts. The CMMC may seem to be as straightforward as it looks, but here are the things that you should expect:
It is not a one-day process – set your mind that this will be one of the most tedious certifications you are getting as a company. With how detail-oriented the auditing body is, expect that it will take months for you to get certified since they would assess all the nooks and crannies of your cyber security posture.
Your full and active participation is needed – hiring a CMMC expert does not mean they will take care of all the work required to pass. You as a company should still be active and responsive while implementing standards and processes is ongoing.
You must maintain the certified status – if you pass, you will not be audited for the next three years—but it does not stop there. Cyberthreats are evolving rapidly and targeting the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and the DoD supply chain, so having a compliance manager would greatly help you cover for the recent procedure updates and regulations. This would give you a head start in preparing your documentation once the three-year clearance period is finished.
A Brief Background of CMMC 2.0
CMMC just updated recently, just like any relevant security framework should be. This is expected to be rolled out by May 2023. With its 2.0 version, CMMC compliance or CMMC maturity levels are now shrunk from five to three. This update also makes the levels majorly based on the information handled by the dod contractor, with clearer CMMC requirements and assessment. The vast majority of the DoD supply chain will need to obtain 1 or 2 level of CMMC certification. Here’s a closer look:
Level 1 – Foundational
- This is for contractors handling Federal Contract Information (FCI) or data that are not for public access.
- They should also comply with the 17 controls according to FAR 53.304-21.
- The self-assessments can be done so long the scores are submitted yearly to Supplier Performance Risk Systems (SPRS).
- For non-prioritized acquisitions, the self-assessment and submitting the scores to the SPRS are still a requirement every year.
Level 2 – Advanced
- This is for contractors managing Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and FCI.
- They should abide by the 14 levels and 100 controls patterned from NIST SP 800-171.
- The assessment should be done by CMMC Third Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs) every three years.
- The annual self-assessment and sending the scores to SPRS are still required for non-prioritized acquisitions.
Level 3 – Expert
- This is mainly to decrease the risks of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).
- Contractors are required to combine controls from the first two levels and 35 controls from NIST 800-172.
- The CMMC assessment will be solely done by the Department of Defense (DOD).
To this day, CMMC is a moving target that we all must keep an eye on and adapt to as cyber threats evolve. And as we do our best to hit that target, a CMMC consultant would be an excellent addition to the pool of experts we work with to achieve a much stronger cybersecurity posture.
The benefits mentioned are just a few things a CMMC consultant can bring into the fold. Are you ready to experience these in your CMMC journey? We are here to guide you every step of the way. Talk to us.